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How to save on medical expenses

Healthcare can take a bite out of your budget in retirement if you’re not prepared. In fact, 77% of Americans say they are concerned about healthcare costs in retirement.* With a little planning, however, you can help minimize costs and make sure you’ve got your expenses covered.
  • Budget for out-of-pocket medical costs: Make sure your budget accounts for these expenses so you don’t have to dip into long-term savings.
  • Take care of health concerns right away: Being proactive about health concerns can keep small discomforts from becoming larger health issues. It may be tempting to ignore symptoms because you’re busy or don’t want to pay the co-pay, but the longer you wait to get treatment, the more serious—and costly—your condition may become.
  • Understand your coverage: Make sure you understand your health coverage before having a procedure done. Some doctors may use labs or refer you to services that are out of network, costing you more. Read your policy to find out what’s covered, or call the 800 number on your medical card to speak with a representative.
  • Take advantage of any discounts: Ask medical providers if you qualify for any discounts. Some practices give you a percentage off your bill if you pay in cash or over the phone, or they may offer other discount programs.
  • Check your statements: Examine your bills to make sure the dates, services and procedures are accurate. If you don’t understand the treatment code attached to a service or visit, call the billing department.
     
Finally, don’t be afraid to work with your doctor to help minimize costs. Before you head to your next appointment, check out these  tips for saving money at the doctor’s office from WebMD.
*TIAA Lifetime Income Survey, 2017.
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Please note that TIAA is not responsible for the content or privacy policies of third-party sites that may be referenced in this article or to which you may link from this article. TIAA does not endorse or recommend the products, services or information found on any third-party site.
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